Originally Posted by oldbassard
I posted this question in another forum, now I realize the wrong one. I am building a 60" wingspan Cessna T-50 (Sky King) The plans I have are from RCM, drawn in 1964. I am attempting to update them to newer technology.
The nacelles call to be planked with 1/8 balsa. I am new to this type of thing so I ask, if it's feasible to make the nacelle housing out of just fiberglass or should I plank it with the 1/8 balsa the cover it? I don't know if making the fiberglass only housing would cost strength or if it can be epoxied to maintain the strength it needs.
At this time I am using CAD to redraw the plans and if I can just use fiberglass for the nacelles , I need to know the approximate thickness the fiberglass should be so I can adjust size for the formers.
Any input would be helpful, thanks guys
Nacelles imply more than one engine/motor for power. A 60" span implies that the total power isn't that much, maybe 2 HP all up. Assuming two engines, a pair of .25s should be enough.
Then I suggest that you carve each nacelle in 1 pound density foam and then fiberglass each foam plug with 3 oz glass and good quality laminating epoxy (west systems, ez lam, us composites, etc etc; many choices here). Stick a, 1/8" birch ply firewall on each and hang the engine directly, No need to remove the foam unless you need space for a 4 oz tank. It will be light and functional.
If you intend to use electric motors, it's probably even simpler and you can use 2 oz glass or less. Probably 1/16" birch ply FW will be all a motor needs.
For such small power you don't need a balsa support structure on the foam. It will add a bunch of unnecessary weight (strength as well of course but it really isn't needed). If you insist, a balsa nacelle can as simple as a balsa stick skeleton with 1/16" sheeting all around, glassed with 3/4 oz glass cloth. FW may be 1/18" birch for engine or 1/16" birch for motor.